Syracuse University Paints New Orleans Orange at National Conference for Military-Connected Students

Leaders from Syracuse University’s Office of Veterans and Military Affairs (OVMA), Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), Career Services, Veterans Affinity Group, and the Veterans Resource Center attended the 2018 NASPA Symposium on Military-Connected Students in New Orleans, Louisiana, recently. Hosted annually, the NASPA Symposium on Military-Connected Students focuses on effective strategies to serve and support the success of veterans and other military-connected students.

The three-day conference consisted of breakout sessions geared toward administrators in higher education for training, resource sharing and fact-finding about opportunities and advancement of student veterans within the institutions of higher education.

Syracuse University leaders shared “best practices” with other universities on making professional graduate degrees more veteran-friendly, including a presentation about the VET-MGMT project by the IVMF funded by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) from 2014-2017. The goal of this project is to develop accelerated and stackable graduate degrees at Syracuse University for student veterans. The “Advancing Veterans Success in Higher Education” report was one of the outcomes of the VET-MGMT and was leveraged in highlighting the “best practices” at NASPA.

The SU team also presented a detailed poster outlining a simulation project currently underway on the campus. The “VET-SIM: Designing Simulations to Support Transitions from Military Service to Collegiate Study” is an effort to support veterans and strengthen their pathways through collegiate study. Professor Benjamin Dotger, with the support of Syracuse University’s School of Education is partnering with the IVMF, and OVMA to design and implement a VET-SIM, a simulation model of real-life challenges experienced on campus by student veterans to help veterans navigate and overcome barriers to collegiate success.

“It is critical to be present at conferences, such as NASPA, to share best practices as well as learn what others are doing within higher education serving our nation’s veterans and military-connected students,” says Ron Novack, OVMA executive director. “During NASPA, I made many great connections with my peers from other academic institutions, shared ideas and brought back to campus additional ideas to assist in solidifying our commitment in making Syracuse University the ‘Best Place for Veterans.’ It was great to hear many colleagues in higher education are using IVMF’s research and using our university work as best examples in the nation serving those who have served.”